How San Francisco Pride is Perpetuating a Scandal By Not Reinstating Bradley Manning as Grand Marshal
By: Kevin Gosztola Thursday May 9, 2013 1:37 pm
The San Francisco Pride Committee held a meeting on Tuesday night. It was their monthly meeting and the Board of Directors was well aware that there would be individuals from the community that would be attending to express their outrage at the Board’s decision to not allow Pfc. Bradley Manning to be honored as a Grand Marshal at this year’s Pride parade. However, the meeting was held in a small conference room and members of the public and press were kept out of the meeting.
Chief Operating Officer Earl Plante told KTVU that the meeting was held to “really listen to the community, share their concerns and try to move forward in a proactive way.” That is public relations gobbledygook. He also alleged that, since the decision, “Threats have been made to board members and volunteers. That was why access to the meeting was limited.”
No evidence to substantiate this allegation has been made public by Pride. Nobody attending the meeting was informed by the Pride Board of any details related to “threats” and how the Board was concerned for their safety. So, Plante’s statement is disingenuous and malevolent, as it functions as a ploy to destroy the credibility of supporters protesting the decision.
I spoke with four individuals, who were at the meeting. There are also accounts from the meeting online from Rainey Reitman, Bradley Manning Support Network Steering Committee member; Michael Petrelis, a gay peace and social justice activist; Tommi Avicolli Mecca, a writer, singer, songwriter and activist. What follows is a comprehensive and unabridged presentation of what happened at the meeting and how San Francisco Pride continues to make this controversy worse.
What Led Up to the Scheduled Monthly Meeting…